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Red Nectar - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Red NectarRed Nectar

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

443 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 443
Reviews: 248
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.7%

Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-25-2001)
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Ratings: 443 | Reviews: 248 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Half Time. An amber tinge colour, lots of creamy head. Hop aromas. C-hopped, good malt backing, tasty stuff. Drying aftertaste. Carbonation right there. Very good for the style. Average mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Two-for-two with this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 01:52:57 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/21/12.

Pours a clear dark amber with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is of toasted malt, burnt caramel, and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty and drinkable but not something I would likely go after again.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2012 03:58:05 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a beautiful shade of redorangeamber, bright and clear, and sports a generous, pastel orange-tinted cap of foam has all of the attributes that I look for... persistance, frothy firmness, stickiness and laceability. Red Nectar looks wonderful in the glass, especially with the setting sun behind it.

Hoptastic nose, more so than most red ales, even west coast ones. Orange, lemon and peach are at least as strong as grapefruit. There's more malt on the palate than there is in the nose. Even though the sweet, caramel flavor is right up front, hoppiness carries the day. Just what I like, a red ale that isn't afraid to forego balance and make a committment--even a modest one--in one direction.

Again, the flavor profile consists of lightly caramelized cane sugar syrup flecked with the zest of oranges, lemons and grapefruits. The medium body feels a tad more full than it actually is due to the sweet, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Drying it out a little would enhance sessionability, but I'd keep it just the way it is.

I don't see, smell, or taste a lot to criticize. Red Nectar isn't in St. Rogue Red's league, but then what is? This is just damn tasty beer, it's as simple as that.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2004 23:22:10 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Thorpe429


3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizzeria Paradiso - Alexandria.

Pours a reddish amber color with a nice white head that quickly recedes without too much lacing. Nose brings some citrus and pine notes with a bit of a floral character. Taste is mostly hops as well with some lightly-toasted malt coming through in the background. Good bitter feel with nice carbonation and a bit of toasted malt. Drinks well and is quite sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2010 01:10:40 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively clear reddish amber in color and has a light amount of carbonation along with some fine particulates visible floating in suspension. It poured with a finger high beige colored head that died down, leaving a thick collar around the edge and lacing on the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of caramel and toasted malts are present in the nose along with hints of floral hops.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness along with additional notes of spicy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The taste of this beer has a very nice balance between the malts and hops.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2014 00:48:23 | More by metter98
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter amber color with a medium slightly sticky head,the aroma is nicely balanced od sweet malt and zesty hop.The taste starts out grassy and zesty with a nice malty finish,a little fruity complexity makes this beer pretty darn good.Mabey would have liked a little toastiness to it but all in all a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2003 18:36:16 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

Felt it was time for some nectar. Yeah. This color pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises pine, grapefruit, toffee, orange peel, and a tiny touch of leek. The taste holds notes of orange peel, sweet toffee, and light pine sap. The body straddles the line between heavy light and light medium (otherwise known as discord and rhyme), with a very light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, an okay brew, nothing close to spectacular, but drinkable enough to get by on its own in the big city.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 23:18:21 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A crystal-clear, deep-copper body is capped by a short but creamy off-white head that holds fairly well and leaves some nice, but sparse, rings of lace. The aroma offers a delicate blend of caramel malt and lightly floral, citrusy, and grassy hops. The body is medium and it's lightly crisp on the tongue with a fine, median-level carbonation. In the flavor a well-balanced combination of fresh caramelish malt; yeasty fruitiness (strawberry, apple); and floral/citrusy/grassy hops are backed by a firm, and almost bold, balancing bitterness. The hop flavor appears more distinct in the finish which is long and lingering with some residual malt and dry bitterness. A solid, drinkable beer!

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2003 04:15:30 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: bright, dark ruby color, a lovely jewel, aided by an enormous head, off-whitish shade, nearly cocoa, honeycombed with lace.
Aroma: fresh, yeasty, citric, slightly sour, tasty, too.
Taste: smooth-going at first sip, untroubled, and tasty. Minor-key fruit factor. Adequate malt, excellent balance. Delicious, but mild enough, too, to enter the session ale field. Every sip and swallow is it's own reward, flavor returns and is enjoyed again and again.
Much thanks to el mocoso!

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2003 05:08:03 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 5/15/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep ruby red color, with a medium dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a decent hops burst and then sweet flavors of citrus and caramel come in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a really good beer to pound down for a whole evening.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2011 18:12:23 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Remember having this on draft about 15 years ago in San Fransisco & loving it...

Pours copper with 3 fingers of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Orange peel & pine

T: Follows the nose, nice caramel notes & tangerine. Woody hop notes, dryness & a touch of biscuitty malt as this warms, along with a touch of astrigency. Finishes with piney hops & malt sweetness

MF: Medium bodied, assertive carbonation, decent balance

A drinkable red that doesn't quite live up to old memories, but a sessionable offering to be sure

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 14:24:32 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet malty aroma that boasts of pale, crystal, and bisquit malts along with a nice citrus hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth and bitter hop flavor with a fine malty base. It is a little hop heavy, but that's what I like. It goes down easy and finishes dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine red ale. It has a good maltly flavor along with excellent hop characteristics. This is a fine sessions brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2005 01:00:54 | More by WesWes
Photo of zeff80


3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, reddish orange color with a two-finger, tan head of bubbly, long-lasting head. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral with a nice piney aroma. Some citrus and caramel, too.

T - Nice bitter piney hop bite up front with sweet caramel and a touch of chocolate.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied amber ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very tasty red ale. Not surprised that Nectar Ales did another good ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 18:49:58 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bubbly 1+ finger head that fades semi slowly but lots of big bubbles in it filling it out but very few bubbles rising from the bottom etch in the SA perfect pint glass, and some sticky lacing, over clear cranberry peach tea colored... beer?

Nose has some light aromatic and fresh fruity hops, light musty resin and citrus, the faintest hint of toasty malts.

Taste brings toasty malts to start, amber reddish malts, then some light aromatic hops, semi bitter, some very light musty resin and citrus, light sweet toasty malts round it off again. The finish gets just slightly astringent, semi bitter with some nice hop flavors lingering and drier finish.

Mouth is medium bodied with lower carbonation.

Overall not bad, some nice flavors, lighter, decent hops, decent malts, nothing crazy, a bit low on the carbonation and the color is just way out there.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 02:05:51 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled March 2007
This was one of those brews that hooked me on that fresh hoppy taste back in the first few years of my drinking craft beer, lets see how it has held up over the years. The beer pours with a darkish tan colored head that billows up to three-fingers in height. The head has some staying power to it and even leaves a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is a brilliantly clear, reddish cranberry color. The aroma has a nice fresh hoppiness to it that is on the sweet side. Aromas of candied orange peel, brown sugar glazed grapefruit and touches of biscuit malt are the most dominant parts of the aroma, though you have to dig for that last bit.

The beer has a nice malty sweetness to it up front, and the malt character is quite clean and bright. I don't remember the malt being quite this refined, I seem to remember a bit more muddy crystal malt character & I am glad that either my memory is hazy or that the beer has changed for the better. Still it is the hops that lead the way here; a nice bright bitterness starts out as a hop bite and lingers on through the finish. The bitterness is nicely balanced by a crystal malt character that adds fruity overtones to this brew. A citrus hop focus also adds more fruit character to this brew with notes of grapefruit, orange and tangelo.

This is still quite a solid drinking beer, a lot of others beers have come along since this brew, but this is one of those that led the way from me, especially with its citrus hop focus. Ultimately this beer is still the session brew that I remember, even if it has lost some of its once, cutting edge vibrancy.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2007 04:15:15 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85


3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out with a nice red color, a light tan colored head. The lacing was pretty good along the glass. The smell of the beer was a little on the sweet side but has some hop aromas too. The taste of the beer seemed a lot like an IPA. The other flavors are sweet like caramel. The mouthfeel was well balanced and pleasing. Overall I found the beer to be enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 00:33:49 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours reddish copper with a thin off-white head that becomes a lasting swirl.

The smell is of caramel, toast - slight berry-like fruitiness.

The taste is of sweet caramel with toasted breadiness. Earthy/spicy hops emerge and become more fruity as the drink progresses. The hop character blends in nicely after a bit of a slow start. This is one of those that I like the more I drink (and decided to bump the score on this one up from my original just a bit.)

Body is a bit thinner than expected, but hangs on to medium and leaves a nice balanced bittersweetness on the palate.

Overall, a satisfying brew - a bit more of a hop spice kick than expected for style, but works well here. Though nothing extraordinary, IMO, it's a notch above a run-of-the-mill amber ale.

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for finding this one!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 02:10:54 | More by jwc215
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker bought the rights to the brand now their brewing in Paso Robles, I was drinking the stuff out of Humboldt County ten years ago, this is still a great introduction ale. I guess it won a 2010 GABF gold medal who knew? Back in Ohio after quite a long departure from the state's distribution I hope Cavalier starts getting some FSWB stuff I'd be amped about even a variety pack of their regular stuff. Appears a dark ruby amber body with light beige head forming thick and dwindling at an appreciable rate, fine speckled lacing coats the sides of my chalice. Aroma pleasant fruitiness sliced red apples and hints citrus greet my nares, with an underlying rock solid malt and hop combo going on. Flavors are dry upfront with a refined caramel breadiness with backend hops that bring earthiness, pine, and mild citrus peel abroad to the forefront of the flavor explosion quite a nice mix of bread, hops, and yeast. Mouthfeel is so dead on hits the palate upfront without overt sweetness and takes the palate on a ride of complexity balanced carbonation, and hop oils all take a ride of glory on the palate nothing bad to say here. Overall I'm missing beers like this that have great flavor complexity that got me into craft beers, that are so good yet often overlooked much appreciated red ale from the folks out around SLO and Santa Barbara brewing world class ales abound.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 00:05:03 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of smcolw


4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The only demerit would be the head which forms modestly and settles into fine rim bubbles. Minimal spots on the glass. The liquid is a dark amber/light brown color where light does pass easily. It also appears to be clear.

Good malt base on the nose and the hop is mildly spicy with white pepper and a touch of grapefruit. Appealing and balanced.

The taste is well balanced: nice malt up front that lasts until the swallow where the peppery hop takes over. Low carbonation that matches the appearance and the liquor is decently rich. Overall, this is a very easy-to-drink amber with an interesting journey through the flavor profile in each sip.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 22:35:10 | More by smcolw
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

killer amber. pours dark dark red, almost burned in color, with a smal tan head. smells a bit dry like an irish red, but has some noticable hops in the nose. tastes deep and rich and ancient. not sweet at all, although the malts leave some residual sugars, its all pretty tame. like a conversation with an old man who has seen it all, this beer is experienced and well refined. very very sessionable and good with grilled sausage. nice spin on a red ale, hard to describe, just try it

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 02:17:04 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby color, thick pour with a dirty white head. Nose is bitter hops, bready and caramel. Taste is good, bittering hops, caramel, drak fruits. Mouthfeel is good for the style, pretty thick and bitter. Drinkability is good eventhough I am not a fan of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 18:32:33 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Liberty St. Tavern. Poured a clear orange with a white head. Paired with waffles.

I had this after a Sam Adams Boston Lager and was surprised by the similarity. Red Nectar had similar dry biscuit malt notes with light toffee and a spicy hops finish. The Sam had more hops flavor up front with a hit of citrus, but Red Nectar still stood out as a clean, tasty, and drinkable session ale. Worth a try is you like other dry amber ales.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2008 14:47:37 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap tonight at ChurchKey in DC.

a - Pours a red amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, citrus hops, light fruity malts.

t - Taste is again, caramel malts and fruity malts. Light orange/citrus.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a good amber ale, but nothing too special. Worth trying, but not something I would seek out again, and nothing really stood out about it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2011 01:22:35 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas


2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this at Beachwood BBQ, where it was labelled "Humboldt Red Nectar Ale". Humboldt's page suggests it's now brewed at Firestone Walker, but Firestone Walker owns Nectar Ales. It's a confusing contract brew/ownership of brand situation, but I believe I've found the right listing. Served on-draught into a 5 oz taster. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice white cream, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is a dark copper-gold.

Sm: Dry toasted malt and cream. Simple and mild, but appealing.

T: Toasted malt, cream, and some amber hops. Some caramel. Simple, but decently balanced. Hops - mainly bittering - are present but mild, supplementing the balance. Decently built but unremarkable. Not unique or special.

Mf: Smooth and a touch dry - especially on the climax. Complements the flavour profile to a moderate extent. Not tailored to it, but suitable.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. Boring for the style. I wouldn't have it again (knowingly). Pairs decently with barbecue.


Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2012 00:45:15 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle filled at DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY. Pours the expected red tinged amber, decent looking khaki head, that behaves in a pretty standard fashion, then leaves better then average sheets of lace. Non exciting nose, perhaps a hint of dusty hops. Enjoyable ale, on the hoppier side then the typical example of the style. Notes of caramelike sweet malt. Nicely balanced and quite highly drinkable offering. Well done and worth a try. Nice sessioner

Serving type: growler

09-12-2009 00:04:51 | More by Billolick
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Red Nectar from Humboldt Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 443 ratings.